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Sports Features of Monday, 10 March 2003

Source: Ebenezer Ofori Anim

Ghanaian Player Excel In Europe

For decades, Ghana has been renowned for sifting through pools of talented players and one such emerging stars is Georgian based Nana Eshun who is now the toast of fans in the Georgian League after turning out some impressive performances. Born some 20 years ago, "Elle Boateng" as he is popular known by his admirers made the ball an early friend and became a constant companion of street football.

A pocket battleship of a player blessed with supreme technique and magical skills, Nana Eshun stood out from the many , growing up in Kumasi and launch his football career as a student at State Envoys Preparatory School. Though he strode through colts soccer in Kumasi unnoticed, a divine hand call it Yahweh if he will, when he was put in the know after a spectacular season with Alhaji Grunsah’s King Faisal.

The ingenuine Striker and a Schemer sporting the stocky frame of one time Ebusua Dwarfs and Black Stars striker, Robert Kouffi was an exceptional player at King Faisal that many thought he had an off day when he played normally.

A bright start to what to what has propel him to a prosperous footballer, Nana Eshun’s determination to capture the height of glory was never in doubt when in 1999 he left the shores of Ghana for trials with Italian Side Udinese Calsio. However, after he has been honed and baked by Udinese as a promising youngster, he was whisked away by Borussia Dortmund in Germany where his true potential became really manifest.

A two year stint with Dortmund in the Germany second division marked a remarkable career for the adroit striker as his name never escaped the headlined in the Germany Soccer Magazines. The finest goal he scored requires quality techniques as well as quadriceps.

Indeed, he seem to have mastered the art of goal scoring at nonchalant ease as his pace and quick turns became a marvel such that top defenders who were charged the unenviable task to play him out only chased his shadows.

It was however not surprising that during one of his great exploits at the last season, he caught the attention of officials of Lokomotive Tbilifi, a top division side in Georgia and negotiated for his immediate transfer. His current one year contract with another year renewable option with the Georgian side and his steely determination to reach the highest point of world football has not lost touch in the Georgian Premier League, making him an icon of the teeming supporters. His goal-scoring adroitness so far has been that of a meteoric rise as he now seeks to surmount higher challenges. His club is presently second in the League, two points behind leaders Dynamos Tifli and played in the prestigious UEFA Champions League two years ago after been crowned Champions for three times in the league.

Nana Eshun is presently telling the national handlers to look increasingly within when selecting players into any of the national teams and I suggest sooner, rather than later, the emerging great soccer star should be given the chance to prove his worth to help stem Ghana’s recent dwindling image in world football particularly at the youth level.